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A Police Association for the RCMP

Dec 13

In the interest of full disclosure I am an associate member of the Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada (MPPAC).  During these turbulent times within the RCMP the question is often asked, “Why aren’t there more members of MPPAC?”  I would like to attempt to answer the question.

Each day of our lives can be viewed as a test.  During each 24-hour period do you “practice what you preach?”  Do you “walk your talk?”  Do you have the courage to stand up for what you believe in, even in the face of opposition?  If you really care about the RCMP, about your brother and sister members, about pay, benefits, pension, grievance procedures, disciplinary matters, and working conditions (as I hear you say that you do!) then you must be prepared to face the challenges you will encounter along the way to change.  You must stand up for your beliefs; moreover, you must put them into practice.  I assure you, as one of my heroes once said, “It is easier to live your values than to convince someone else of them”.

Recently, a very well respected management scholar suggested, based upon her data, that for many regular and civilian members of the RCMP, “their job is making them sick”.  Much of this destruction can be blamed on the Force’s system of governance, it’s corporate culture and it’s ineffective Division Staff Relations Representative Program (DSRRP).  For corporate or personal benefit, or to gain political power senior executives have taken, and/or supported actions knowing full well that the consequences would, or could, be negative for the membership.  I have increasing hope that as the membership becomes more aware of how the management of the organization is accountable to no one, that they will rise up and reject their impotent and unconstituional DSRRP in favour of a true professional and independent Association.

It seems to me that there are at least three ways that you can prove by not only your words but also your actions that you care about the RCMP.  First, you can protest the RCMP’s lack of respect for your rights as a worker by spreading information about the Association.  You can actively recruit members.  If each of the approximately 2500-3000 members of MPPAC recruited three new members the total membership would swell to approximately 10,000.  When is the last time you called your troop mates?  Second, you can begin to look critically at the DSRRP (and the Legal Fund it sits on).  What has the DSRRP done since 1974 to improve those issues noted above.  (Did you know that in 1974 when the members voted to have the DSRRP, there was no other choice!  It was the DSRRP or nothing).  According to the same management scholar’s data a significant number of you still “do not feel trusted, respected, fairly treated, or well lead”.  What are the DSRRs spending your Mounted Police Members’ Legal Fund monies on?  Does legal fund money spent to lobby against an Association look like “members first” to you?  And third, and most important, you can “walk your talk” by joining MPPAC and declining to pay into the legal fund.  Perhaps that money could go to higher MPPAC dues?  Every Police Association member in the country knows that you get what you pay for.  Can they all be wrong?

All too frequently there are those within an organization who are aware of problems but do nothing about them – out of self interest.  But then, on the other hand, there are some who will speak out against all odds; who refuse to be silenced even if it means incurring the wrath of the organization (or worse).  Check out the MPPAC executive across the country.  Are you aware of their stories?  Do you think it’s easy for them to go public with their MPPAC involvement?  They have the  “courage of their convictions”.  And there is the answer to the question posed above.  Do you have the “courage of your convictions”, or are you just coffee room chatter?

The Force professes to honour a “Mission, Vision, and Values” statement loaded with platitudes that are rarely achieved.  Will you dare to hold management to account?  Do you want to restore the public’s confidence in your organization?  (If your rights are respected you are more likely to respect the rights of the public).  Do you want to ensure your own and your co-workers mental and physical health?  If you’ve answered yes, then walk your talk and embrace the MPPAC.  Take the great Oglala Sioux Chief Crazy Horse’s advice and, “Stand in the light if you wish to speak out”.

In support of your rights,

Dr. Mike Webster, R.Psych.

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One Comment
  1. Anonymous permalink

    While I agree with what your are saying, I don’t believe the young members are going to vote for a Union. Don’t get me wrong I’m from a Union family where my Father was the President for 22 yrs. When I joined the RCMP 25 yrs ago I also joined the C division Union. For a Union to work in the RCMP , our Employer which is the TREASURY BOARD not the RCMP, will have to recognize the union to negotiate with. The RCMP will have to Agree that the Commissioner is completely by-pass as he is not our Employer. Also All management will not be able to join the Union, or if they are allowed to join the Union under what status. If we look at other Police Forces only White Shirts are not allowed. Now lets say we do get a UNION all the Government has to do is pass legislation stating they are making something LAW and we can’t fight it. IE the FAMOUS CLAW BACK. Public Service has 320,000 members Harper passed law for the Severance pay, We are only 20,000. But First we must DEAL with our Employer…. THE TREASURY BOARD, not Commissioner not SEC.

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